Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed a bill making it easier to purge infrequent voters from a list of those who automatically get a ballot each election.
In a tweet Tuesday, the governor called “Arizona a national leader when it comes to election integrity,” and he added that the bill continues the legacy.
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) May 11, 2021
“In 1992, our state began offering the ability for Arizonans to vote an absentee ballot. Since then, Arizona has continuously improved and refined our election laws — including intuitively renaming ‘absentee’ voting to ‘early’ voting — and constantly seeking to strengthen the security and integrity of our elections,” the governor said in a letter, supporting the bill.
The Republican governor acted hours after state Senate Republicans approved the measure Tuesday over protests from Democrats and prominent business leaders who said the measure would suppress the votes of people of color.
According to a Tuesday release, the bill removes voters registered for permanently receiving a mail-in ballot if they have not voted in the primary and general elections for two consecutive election cycles.
The county would notify voters before they are removed from the list. If that individual signs the notice and returns it, they will continue to receive their ballots in the mail.
“Today, we saw Arizona Republicans once again take a hammer to the institution of Democracy by passing a bill that will purge over 120,000 eligible Arizona voters from the Permanent Early Voting List,” the Arizona Senate Democrats said in a statement. “The true intent of this bill is undeniable and that is to suppress the votes of low-income, Black, Latino, and Native American voters.”
The measure is one of the most contentious bills moving in Arizona as Republicans in key states look to remake election procedures in the wake of President Donald Trump’s defeat last year. Repeated reviews have found no problems with the election results in Arizona or elsewhere.
The bill comes as Republican state officials hold an audit of the 2020 presidential election results in Maricopa County.